In 1994, a management company wanted to put together a girl group to combat the boy bands that were out at the time. Five girls (with five big personalities) came together and in the summer of 1996, they released their song, “Wannabe”. That song would give them international success.
They were the Spice Girls.
2016 marks the 20th anniversary since the debut of the Spice Girls and 20 years of being active in the music industry. The UK girl group came out in the mid 90’s with their spicy attitudes, memorable dance hits, and their empowering slogan “Girl Power”. Throughout their career, the Spice Girls have released three multi-platinum albums, 10 Top Ten hits, and sold over 80 million records worldwide, making them the highest selling girl group of all time.
Whether you’re still a die-hard fan or your closet-Pandora listener, you can’t lie and say you didn’t completely hate the Spice Girls. I’m man enough to admit, “Say You’ll Be There”, “Who Do You Think You Are”, and “Spice Up Your Life” will always be my favorite songs by them (and I sometimes secretly watch the videos on my own). Besides the songs we love and the albums that have sold, we can’t talk about the Spice Girls without their speaking on their impact on pop music and pop culture in general.
First, we can deny their impact on the gay community. Besides the music, the Spice Girls has the perfect blend of what made them so approachable to gay men: the dynamic personalities, the over-the-top clothes, and the voice of affirming equality. The Spice Girls made their message loud and clear; be who you are and of course, spice up your life. The Spice Girls have gay men a voice and a soundtrack of celebrating who you are. With that in mind, the gay community to this day still holds the Spice Girls on a high pedestal to this day, and the gay clubs still spin a Spice Girls record here and there.
Other than spicing up the gay community, the Spice Girls spiced up their homeland, the United Kingdom. Due to the group’s popularity, the Spice Girl made British culture trendy; from the notable double decker buses and British tea in the “Wannabe” video to Geri Halliwell, aka Ginger Spice, wearing her iconic Union Jack dress, the Spice Girl made being British cool again. Not since Beatlemania has the world taken such interest in the trends and sounds of the UK.
Behind the vibrant personalities and distinct fashion choices, the Spice Girls did bring something important to music and pop culture, feminism; who could honestly forget their signature phrase, “Girl Power”. The Spice Girls were one of the key groups that made women empowerment a strong movement and a lifestyle in the 90’s. When groups like Salt-N-Pepa and TLC approach feminism in music with an “I can do it like the boys” attitude, music listeners gravitated to the Spice Girls because they approached feminism differently; they instead embraced their femininity and gave young girls a pathway to embrace themselves. Like many girl groups before them, the Spice Girls displayed unity amongst women and individuality, something that isn’t presented in artist in today’s music realm.
20 years later since the debut of the Spice Girls, women are still celebrating their womanhood in a vibrant manner, women are still uniting under the same goals the Spice Girls set out and achieved, and no matter who you are man or woman, you’ve spiced up your life just a little.
And if you still don’t believe the impact of the Spice Girls, just check out this video…if you wanna be my lover lol